Mariners shattered to lose homesick Perez

Diposting oleh football on Kamis, 24 Maret 2011

Central Coast coach Graham Arnold says it's "shattering" to lose the services of Patricio Perez for next A-League season after agreeing to release the homesick Argentine playmaker.

In a significant blow to the Mariners and the A-League, the club on Wednesday announced Perez, 25, had been released from the second year of his two-year deal after pleading to be allowed to return to South America.

Perez, a former Argentine under 20s teammate of Lionel Messi, was brought to the club by Arnold at the start of the season and showed glimpses of brilliance in his 18 appearances as the Mariners finished runners up to Brisbane Roar.

Arnold said the club had done everything in its power to help Perez settle in Australia but ultimately did not want to keep him against his will.

"It's just devastating," Arnold told AAP.

"We signed him for two years and people saw what qualities the kid had but he just never settled.

"As a club we did a lot of work to make the kid happy and his wife but the homesickness got to them."

Arnold said the Mariners had tried to help Perez integrate with the local Spanish community and had offered to pay for extra airfares for his wife to fly home more regularly.

He said Perez had settled during the season after some initial homesickness but felt he had been growing uneasy in recent months.

"I've sort of had a feeling this was coming on for the last six weeks but it's come home even more in the last few weeks where he was begging and pleading for me to release him from his contract," Arnold said.

"He had two years and he's only half way though, but you've got to think of the human being as well."

The Mariners could potentially be without both of their key playmakers for next season with 17-year-old sensation Mustafa Amini currently trialling in Germany with Borussia Dortmund.

Arnold said he would wait and see what happened with Amini before deciding how to replace Perez.

"With the competition not starting until October I can take my time on what I'm going to do and a lot of it depends on what happens with Musti," Arnold said.

Amini proved a revelation this season, starting in the absence of the injured Perez in the Mariners' grand final loss to the Roar earlier this month.

Perez said in a statement he was sad to be leaving the club.

"The players and the club have been fantastic to me and my wife and I love the Central Coast, but it is hard for us to be away from our families," he said.

"I want to thank the club and Graham Arnold for the way we have been treated du

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